Elephant Butte Reservoir was created in 1916 with the completion of a dam across the Rio Grande. The reservoir is more than 40 miles long and has 200 miles of shoreline. It is the largest and most popular lake in New Mexico. Popular activities are mostly centered around the water (like boating, Water Skiing and fishing), and the well over 100 campsites.
There are ample sites for having a picnic at both Elephant Butte Lake State Park and Elephant Butte Dam Recreation Area.
The dam itself is also popular to see. It is not on the State Park property itself; but is not far away. The recreation area by the dam is very popular too. The views of the dam and the surrounding area are spectacular.
Elephant Butte Lake State Park has a full service marina and several boat ramps. Boating is very popular here as is skiing, kayaking, fishing, and other water related sports.